This series of posts documents two ordinary folks attempting to get out there and do good. Over the next few months, we’ll follow them through the setbacks and triumphs of their endeavor to take the inspiration of Mountainfilm and turn it into something tangible. (To catch up. start here.)

Continued from last Thursday…

Another curve, and we were greeted by a Tolkein-esque panorama of dozens of mining sites dotting the steep slope in front of us. Each site was accompanied by a gaggle of dusty miners. As it was lunch, some miners were taking their turns around a cook-fire while others were engaged in mining activities (mainly lifting heavy bags of ore).

We made our way through the several camps (the subject of much good-natured mirth among the miners*) and came to a small clearing. With the support of the galamsey bosses, we were able to talk to several of the workers. We set up the camera and began interviews. One worker had a particularly intriguing story. Baba had been a welter-weight boxing champion who had several West-African titles to his name. Sadly, he began to lose sponsorship. To pay the bills, he began moonlighting as a truck driver for a large mining concern in Obuasi. Long story short: several incidents, and he began to mistrust his bosses. He instead came to work for the galamsey mines, where he trusted the galamsey bosses and received more reliable income.

After we had satisfied our curiosity as to the miner’s lives and the operations of the galamseys, we trekked back down the mountain. Our day ended with lunch in one of two sit down restaurants in town, where we had a chance to really pick the galamsey-bosses minds.

* We learned later that women aren’t allowed at galamsey sites at all. Some of the workers commented that it was bad juju to have a female in the camp.

That’s it for our first galamsey visit! In accordance with it being the holidays and all, next week, we’ll blog about Ghanaian food!

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